Dodgers Looking at Chieng-Ming Wang?

The clock struck midnight for Yankee pitcher Chieng-Ming Wang and he became a free agent when the team didn't tender him a contract -- suddenly he is one of the hottest names on the free-agent market. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wants the Dodgers to clean up their act and a long-time Arizona spring training club may reverse the trend and move back to Florida.

Wang has won only 15 games in the last two years but all the clubs are salivating about the back to back 19-win seasons he had a few years ago.

The question is: did an injury account for the abrupt fall-off he suffered or is it a permanent affliction? A wrong answer could cost a multi=million dollar contract.

His agent says that six different teams have approached him about possibly signing Wang, three from each league. And although Dodgers manager Joe Torre has always liked Wang, the Dodgers are not on the list and with the apparent lack of money to invest in new faces, they probably won be on the list.

Jansen Making Waves
Catcher Kenley Jansen was added to Los Angeles Dodgers 40-man roster recently but as a pitcher. Kenley Jansen spent parts of two seasons with the Great Lakes Loons as a catcher and displayed a great arm.

He even worked behind the plate for The Netherlands and a video of him throwing out a base-runner flitted across the internet for some time.

But even the best-throwing catcher needs to be able to hit, and the kid just didn't seem to be able to do that. He debuted in 2005, but after four seasons in Rookie ball and low Class A Great Lakes coming into this season, Jansen had hit just .234/.319/.346 in 224 games.

Not good for a catcher, but plenty good for a pitcher.

When Jansen was an amateur in Curacao, some scouts preferred him as a pitcher because of his arm strength and questionable hitting ability. So the Dodgers converted him to a pitcher and the results were impressive enough that the Dodgers added him to the big club's roster.

Jansen traded in his catching gear for a toe-plate in June and just one month later made his pitching debut with Class A Inland Empire, where he stuck out 19 batters and walked 11 in 11.1 innings. Pitching for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, Jansen showed one of the league's most powerful arms with a fastball that hits 97 and sits at 95 mph.

"When they told me that he was coming here and he was a converted guy, I was like, ‘Oh, no,' " Saguaros pitching coach Fred Dabney said. "I know he hasn't been pitching very long, but I tell you what, I was very surprised and pleased.

"He commands the ball a lot better than what I expected. Obviously the tools and the ability is there and he's got to polish some things up—little things—but he's fun to work with. He's a bright spot. I'm glad they put him on the mound."

A Note From the Front Office
The mistresses of Tiger Wood, so plentiful that the cartoon "Doonsberry" suggested they might be forming a union, has taken the spotlight off the Frankie and Janie court battle in Los Angeles but it hasn't gone away.

We won't get into the he-said, she-said part of the whole mess but recently the one-time driver with whom he alleges Jamie McCourt had an affair met this week with a Taiwanese legislator interested in strengthening ties with the Dodgers.

The driver, Jeff Fuller presented a Dodgers jacket and an autographed baseball from Manager Joe Torre to Sen. Justin Chou. In turn, Chou invited Jamie McCourt to visit Taiwan.

The Dodgers are in discussions with Major League Baseball about playing exhibition games in Taiwan in March, spokesman Josh Rawitch said. And Fuller's visit was not on behalf of the club, Rawitch added.

Frank McCourt's attorney said he is reserving the right to take "whatever legal steps are necessary" to prevent Fuller and Jamie McCourt from presenting themselves as representatives of the Dodgers.

Frank McCourt claims he is the sole owner of the Dodgers; Jamie McCourt claims she is a co-owner of the team. A trial date to decide that issue could be set soon.

Most of this you already knew. But the story reached the offices of Bud Selig, Baseball's Commissioner, and he seemed less than pleased and sent a note to Frank that read: "The Commissioner has asked me to urge you to resolve this matter as quickly as possible to avoid future problems of this type."

Frank has now accused his estranged wife of undermining the Dodgers' business operations, claiming in a court filing that Jamie McCourt could "continue to seek to damage the Dodgers" so long as she presents herself as a co-owner of the team.

Mike Sitrick, a spokesman for Jamie, said she has neither agreed to visit Taiwan nor represented herself "as an employee or official of the Dodgers." He said Fuller had acted on his own.

Paul Archey, senior vice president of international business operations for Major League Baseball, sent a letter to Taiwanese baseball officials describing Fuller as "a former Dodger employee purporting to represent" the Dodgers and reminding them his office handles foreign affairs on behalf of every team in the league.

The Los Angeles Times since has reported that Jamie has been advised by Joe Ravitch, a New York investment banker working on the sale of the Texas Rangers. Ravitch also worked on the sales of the NBA's New Jersey Nets and Seattle SuperSonics and on the creation of the New York Yankees' YES cable channel.

The commissioner's office is aware of his work with Jamie McCourt, said a baseball source who did not wish to be identified because of the ongoing legal proceedings. His advisory role is considered "absolutely not inappropriate," the source said, because ownership of the Dodgers remains in dispute.

At the hearing Frank requested it begin in early February, while Jamie's attorney argued for next fall at the earliest. The court split the difference and set March 29 to decided issues of spousal support and attorney's fees, while setting aside May 24 through June 3 for the trial that will decide the validity of the couple's post-marital agreement that spells out who owns the club and who owns other family property.

MBL Committee to be Formed
Commissioner Selig also announced that he has formed a 14-person committee that will review all "on-field matters," including such issues as scheduling, the post-season format, umpiring, the time and pace of the game, and instant replay.

The committee will include field managers, current and former general managers, club owners and presidents. Committee members include Dodgers manager Joe Torre, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa; and Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers. Also included is Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and columnist and baseball fan George Will.

Selig told reporters in a telephone conference that the committee would be invited to tackle any issues deemed important to the game.

Cubs headed to Florida?
Not exactly a Dodgers item, but interesting anyway is the report that executives from rival teams say the Ricketts family, which recently purchased the Cubs, is not using an offer to move spring training to Naples, Florida, as leverage against the folks in Mesa, Ariz.

The Cubs' new owners are mulling over a move to Naples, even though it is isolated from other spring training teams as opposed to Mesa, because the new owners like the portfolios of Naples residents. If the Cubs do make the move they would be the first team in two decades to go from Arizona to Florida.

In that stretch, Florida-based teams that have moved to Arizona include the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals and, in 2010, Cincinnati Reds.

Dodger Blue Notes -- According to FoxSports.com, the two players the Dodgers will receive from the Chicago White Sox for Juan Pierre will be Minor League starter John Ely and reliever Jon Link. Ely, 24, was 10-12, 4.71 for Class a Winston Salem in 2008 and came back with a 14-2, 2.82 for Birmingham in the Southern League with 125 strikeouts in 156 innings last season. Link, 26, saved 35 games at Double-A Birmingham in 2008 and 13 for Triple-A Charlotte in 2009. ...The Marlins re-signed Albuquerque closer Scott Strickland who set a new club record in 2009 with 32 saves. a

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